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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 09-09-2013, 12:36 PM
palmettobugs palmettobugs is offline
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05 X3 Starts then Stalls, Funny Smell

Okay, I'm an over 60 female with minimal car knowledge and no mechanical ability. I "inherited" our daughter's 2005 X3 when she didn't need it anymore. It's run fine until about 2 months ago, when it would start but stall when it was put in gear. 10 minutes later, it started right up and ran fine for a month.

Then it did it again, but we noticed a funny smell--sort of rotten eggs. We had it towed on a flatbed to our local dealership. It took them 3 days before they could look at it, and then it started right up and drove fine, so they said to come and get it, they couldn't find anything wrong. It ran fine for a few weeks, then a few days ago, same thing.

We had it towed to the dealership again. They're telling us it's the idle valve actuator. They want an arm and a leg to replace it and then a few hundred more to clean the carbon.

So my first question is, is this something we could order and replace or have a less expensive shop fix? My second question, if the answer to the first is yes, would the other mechanic be able to reset the computer if it needs to be reset? No codes are showing.

Appreciate your help!
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2013, 02:12 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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05 X3 Starts then Stalls, Funny Smell

Is this the original battery? If so I would start by replacing that.


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  #3  
Old 09-09-2013, 02:31 PM
palmettobugs palmettobugs is offline
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No, I don't think the battery is original, think it was replaced about a year ago.

Showing my ignorance here, but what would the battery have to do with stalling...or would that account for the funny smell? The car cranks up fine, then the engine kind of goes normal-slow-normal-slow etc., then dies.
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  #4  
Old 09-09-2013, 02:51 PM
nightmareuki nightmareuki is offline
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my money would be on catalytic converters and yes you can take it to a mechanic.
http://www.bimmershops.com
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  #5  
Old 09-09-2013, 03:15 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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Egg smell is from the Catalytic convertor. When it is cold it makes a waste gas sulphur which smells of rotten eggs. This should not be the focus of your investigation.

The stalling and failure to idle can be many items relating to the engine air and fuel delivery. If either a supply or an outlet is somehow faulty, or the device that measures those is faulty, it can cause failure to idle, sluggish response, difficulty engaging gears and stalling.

Start with the cheapest items first, air filter, air leaks after the air flow meter, dirty throttle body.
Next look at 02 sensors, coil packs and spark plugs ($100 each)
Finally look at the throttle body and the cats for replacement ($300 and $600 at a guess).

Any decent independent mechanic with a pro scan tool should be able to fix this for you. Many of the consumables like the plugs and coils should have been done at 100k miles inspection 2. BTW, what sort of person is "done" with a 2005 X3? That's when I'd be buying something for the first time!
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2013, 03:22 PM
palmettobugs palmettobugs is offline
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I'm very impressed with this forum! Would a catalytic converter problem account for the smell?

I'm wondering why the dealership is saying it's the idle valve actuator? Geezlouise, I don't want to pay them almost $1300 to replace the valve and "clean the carbon", then still have a problem. Then if acts up again, and we have to have the catalytic converter repaired, that's another big bill.
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2013, 03:27 PM
A B Able Truck's Avatar
A B Able Truck A B Able Truck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palmettobugs View Post
Okay, I'm an over 60 female with minimal car knowledge and no mechanical ability. I "inherited" our daughter's 2005 X3 when she didn't need it anymore. It's run fine until about 2 months ago, when it would start but stall when it was put in gear. 10 minutes later, it started right up and ran fine for a month.
Then it did it again, but we noticed a funny smell--sort of rotten eggs. We had it towed on a flatbed to our local dealership. It took them 3 days before they could look at it, and then it started right up and drove fine, so they said to come and get it, they couldn't find anything wrong. It ran fine for a few weeks, then a few days ago, same thing.
We had it towed to the dealership again. They're telling us it's the idle valve actuator. They want an arm and a leg to replace it and then a few hundred more to clean the carbon.
So my first question is, is this something we could order and replace or have a less expensive shop fix? My second question, if the answer to the first is yes, would the other mechanic be able to reset the computer if it needs to be reset? No codes are showing.
Appreciate your help!
Ask someone with the same vehicle as yours to post a picture of / or the location of the idle control actuator. Ask if it is available aftermarket - Napa, Pep Boys, etc. If it's accessible, sweet talk your X or boyfriend into changing it. The smell is probably intake carbon buildup, you'll have to sweet talk someone with a walnut blaster to clean that out for you. Better yet - tell your daughter's boyfriend to do it.

Palmetto Bugs - you must be in Florida

Last edited by A B Able Truck; 09-09-2013 at 03:32 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2013, 03:31 PM
palmettobugs palmettobugs is offline
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Sorry - we cross-posted here. I'll take your advice and start with the low hanging fruit.

Are you wondering why our daughter didn't want the car anymore? She lives and works in a major metropolitan area. Traffic is crazy, parking is a nightmare and very expensive, as was the price of high test gas for the BMW. We bought her a Prius.
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2013, 03:34 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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Ignore the smell if it goes away after 10 minutes. The Platinum and Rhodium in the cats need to hit 400C before they start catalysing the reaction. Until then you get an egg smell. If it's still there after the engine is hot then it's worth investigating.

They are telling you the Idle Control Value (after this refered to as ICV) is dirty. This is a common issue and can be a reason for rough idle. Cleaning is one of the cheapest ways to fix the idle, however it may not be the only issue, but we start with the the cheapest items first.

Your engine is M54, it's fitted to lots of BMW. There are a few DIY guides, and some minor disassembly is required to access the ICV for cleaning form the top of the engine. The Throttle Body can be cleaned at the same time. Use a cleaner that is Teflon Safe on the Throttle Body. It's about 2 hours work.



http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=901978

The cat, should it need doing, is a pair of coke cans shaped devices on the exhaust. They contain a honeycomb of platinum and rhodium. Normally when a cat fails, the honeycomb collapses and blocks the exhaust, and the symptoms are lack of power under hard acceleration, rather than idle issues.

Idle issues are ICV, Throttle Body, O2 sensors, air leak & MAF type issues. Many BMWs suffer from idle issues and there is a lot of good info out there.
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  #10  
Old 09-09-2013, 04:04 PM
palmettobugs palmettobugs is offline
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Thank you so much! I don't think we can handle this ourselves, but there's another reputable place here that works on BMWs. We'll go to the dealership tomorrow morning, pay the $143 they charged for the diagnosis, and see if it'll start. We'll either drive it to the other place or have it towed there. Based on your advice, we called them and they can do the job for less than half of what the dealership quoted.

Will let you know what happens.
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  #11  
Old 09-09-2013, 07:57 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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Good luck. An ICV job shouldn't run you more than 200 clams even for a rookie garage. There are no new parts, only a couple of hours labour.

The function of the ICV is this. The throttle body is a disk in an air pipe that opens and closes according to the position of your foot on the gas pedal. It lets past air into the engine to mix with the fuel to burn to make power.

As you can imagine when your foot is not on the gas pedal, a 'sneak path' is required to allow a small amount of air past for the engine to burn at idle. This path contains the ICV, a little canister that allows some air to bypass the throttle body.

Both Throttle Body and ICV are electric motor controlled these days to allow the car to best optimize their position for fuel economy and power (TB) and smooth, efficient low idle (ICV).

If either ICV or TB get gummed up and sticky, and they both do, eventually the motors cant get them to the target position. the car will try to get to the right point and the idle will hunt and possibly stall. The contaminant is old oil and old gummy fuel. The TB has a teflon coating to attempt to alleviate the gumming up with time.

Here's a nice clean TB


Here's an ICV.



You can see the fixings for the TB that is missing in that picture where the rag is stuffed.

And here's where they are located.

Last edited by joylove; 09-09-2013 at 07:59 PM.
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2013, 03:47 PM
robnries robnries is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 X3
05 X3 Starts then Stalls, Funny Smell

I had similar problems with my 06...had it towed to dealer who charged 800 to replace idle control valve. I have an extended warranty that covered the repair. Been starting and running fine since the repair.


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  #13  
Old 09-10-2013, 05:09 PM
palmettobugs palmettobugs is offline
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We went to the dealership this morning and asked them to try cleaning the valve. They did, and then called and said the car wouldn't start and the part needed replacing. We're having it replaced. We don't have an extended warranty.
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  #14  
Old 09-10-2013, 05:51 PM
robnries robnries is offline
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05 X3 Starts then Stalls, Funny Smell

I was grateful for the warranty! I hope this repair solves your problem.


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  #15  
Old 09-10-2013, 07:00 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palmettobugs View Post
We went to the dealership this morning and asked them to try cleaning the valve. They did, and then called and said the car wouldn't start and the part needed replacing. We're having it replaced. We don't have an extended warranty.
Please now that the car is working well, spend some time to find a good independent mechanic before it becomes urgent again.
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